Thursday, June 19, 2008

Washington DC

Fin Lobbys Congress

The Roadshow has made it to our nation's capital! Bill, Nate, and Fin have crossed over 10,000 miles of highway, stopped in dozens of cities, talked to thousands of people and collected hundreds of postcards to members of Congress. The Roadshow went a long way in raising the awareness about both the crisis facing Columbia & Snake River salmon to deliver this simple message to Congress: remove the four lower Snake River dams, save taxpayer dollars in the process, and restore the national treasure of wild salmon.

In DC the Roadshow was rejoined by Save Our Wild Salmon staff and salmon advocates from across the country to help bring this message to our elected officials.

Pictured here are anglers, commercial fisherman, conservationists, voters and citizens from Oregon, California, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Michigan who have gathered in Washington to meet with congress seeking solutions to the crisis facing salmon runs on the Snake River.

We want to see a legislative solution to the problems facing Snake River Salmon. We can remove these four Snake River dams and find solve the salmon crisis in a way that works for communities of the Northwest and taxpayers nationwide. The solutions are there; we can transfer grain from barges to rails; we can replace the hydroelectric capacity with other carbon-free, sustainable sources like wind and solar in addition to conservation; we can upgrade pumps to allow irrigators access to water. We can save these salmon.

We can save the salmon because they represent real jobs for commercial fisherman, their families and the coastal communities they live in. We can save them because they bring angling opportunities for sport anglers, and the jobs and revenue these anglers generate. We can save them because wild salmon are about the most healthy food on the planet: lean protein rich in Omega-3's. We can save these salmon because they are an icon on The Pacific Northwest, and a National Treasure.

We can save Snake River salmon. But not without leadership from Congress. With the collapse of Salmon that is occurring coast-wide, and from our conversations with people across the country, Congressional action is needed now, more than ever.

It's been a long road for Bill, Nate and Fin. But if it means we are that much closer to removing the Lower Snake River dams and restoring wild salmon runs, it was well worth the journey. We couldn't have done it without a lot of help along the way. This is a huge, heartfelt Thank You to everyone (there are far too many to name) who helped make the Road Show feel at home wherever we were. Special thanks go out to our partners at American Whitewater, Conservation Alliance, Federation of Fly Fishers, NW Energy Coalition, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, Patagonia, Sierra Club, Slow Food USA, Trout Unlimited

Throughout our travels, we were fueled by the enthusiasm folks had for the issue, and carried their message all the way to the Capitol. If Congress can act with the same enthusiasm, we will save the Snake River Salmon.

These four fish in front of the Capitol represent the four Sockeye Salmon that returned to Redfish Lake last year. Only Four of these majestic fish made it to a lake named for it's abundance of salmon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Baltimore. The last stop before DC. The end of the road is in sight. That doesn't mean the Road Show took it easy. Nonsense. First thing in the AM was The Baltimore Farmer's Market.

Given that it's been a long haul, and getting going in the morning is a little rough, we were glad to be parked near Zeke's Coffe's booth. Mmmm. Coffee.

Once everyone was fully caffeinated, we dashed down the street to the National Aquarium. We pulled right out front. It wasn't until we arrived that our contact and host, Nancy Hotchkiss realized that she really hooked into the big one.

Nancy was a wonderful host, giving us a personal, behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium. Here's a big thanks to Nancy for making our stop in Baltimore so much fun.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


It was a double header in Philly for Fin and the Roadshow Crew on Saturday. First up was the Rittenhouse Square Farmer's Market. We had a special guest, Eric, an old pal of Bobby's (who rejoined the tour for the last couple of days.) stop by.

In the evening we dashed off to the White Dog Cafe for a dinner with the Philadelphia chapter of Slow Food.

It was a delicious dinner featuring wild Alaska Salmon. We also had a wonderful time chatting with the Slow Food folks about restoring salmon runs on the Snake in a setting that allowed for more detailed and intimate conversation than our usual haunts at farmer's markets.


Our few days in New Jersey were marked by a vast improvement in the weather, as well as a series of congressional visits.

On Wednesday we visited both Senator Menendez and Senator Lautenberg's offices. SoS staffer Gilly Lyons came along for and we had great meetings with both staffs. Senator Menendez's office was a little busy, and didn't have a chance to come down to see Fin, but we thank them for taking a little time out to talk to us.

Senator Lautenberg's staff, however was much more intrigued by the fish, and much of the office came out for a photo.

Again we thank both staffs for their time and two great meetings. We hope both Senators will continue to be important allies and leaders for Pacific Salmon.

In the afternoon we headed down to Princeton, NJ to meet with Rep. Rush Holt's staff. We chatted with Lexi from the district office and are glad she had a chance to take a picture with Fin.

On Thursday we headed to the Jersey Shore for a visit with Rep. Pallone's staff. We had a great meeting there, and since Rep Pallone has many fisherman in his district, he and his staff are very supportive of our efforts. Again, we want to send a big thank you to Rep. Pallone for his past efforts for saving Pacific Salmon, and look forward to future leadership.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fin Hearts NY

Muggy. Hot. Sticky. Sweaty.

Those are the four words that most accurately describe our four days in New York. Not that we let that get us down.

Saturday The Road Show pulled into Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, just across the East River from Manhattan. Look! There's The Empire State Building on the left. Chrysler Building and the UN to the right.

Harry, from Water Taxi Beach was a great host, and held a Salmon BBQ featuring the finest Wild Alaska Salmon. It was really tasty. The other great thing Harry did was let us park fin in the lot there for the entire stay. This was probably the biggest help we got while in NYC, and we all appreciate it.

Sunday we trotted off to SOS staffer Gilly Lyons' old neighborhood on the Upper West Side. We got a great spot between the American Natural History Museum and the Patagonia store. Chris, one of the guys from Patagonia, avid climber, took it upon himself to tackle this latest challenge.


Despite the heat, which has unfortunate side effect of turning the inside of Fin into a large salmon-shaped oven, folks flocked to get a look inside, including this dad, who I think is more excited than his son.

Sunday also offered a brief respite from the swelter, as the skies opened up just as we were packing up for the day. Blessed Relief. Bill danced in the rain.

On Monday we set up in Riverside Park, just off the Hudson River. Still hot, and the nearby fountain drew some kids away from Fin, but not all.


Tuesday's adventure was a driving tour of Manhattan. Bill might be losing his mind, but he sort of likes driving the fish through Manhattan.

By Wednesday, it was time to leave New York, but the good news was the heat broke Tuesday night, ushering in cooler, haze free air. You know when it's not so hazy (not to mention the smog), Water Taxi Beach has one hell of a view. Compare this shot with the one from Saturday. They're taken from the same place.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Westport Farmer's Market

Thursday was time for another farmer's market, this one in Westport, CT at Wholesome Wave Farmer's Market. This is a very cool market. They have goats!

Our contact with the Market was Michel Nischan, who knows Pietro Parravano, commercial fisherman out of Half-Moon Bay and President of IFR
. Here's Michel exploring inside Fin.

Michel also is owner of the restaurant The Dressing Room, which is actually where the market is held. He made sure Nate and Bill had a fantastic lunch, and in turn, we made sure to get a shot in front of the restaurant.

Oddly enough, Fin is so big that you can't actually see the Restaurant, but at least we got the sign. Toward the end of the day, Market Manager Katherine Dyer took a peek inside Fin as well. She had been very helpful so we decided to take her with us, by locking her inside.

Ok, so we didn't kidnap her, and we did let her out. Eventually.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Boston, MA

Bill, Nate and Fin spent two great days on City Hall Plaza in the middle of Downtown Boston on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Day one was beautiful and sunny, with a steady stream of people coming and going.

While the guys were on dinner break, somebody decided to put a few words into Fin's mouth.

Day two, was rainy and chilly.

But it was perfect Salmon weather, and it didn't stop people from hopping inside Fin.

Toward the end of the day, it became clear that Fin wasn't the only show in town. Boston was getting ready to rekindle an old basketball rivalry, namely the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals which were starting the next day.

Boston was a great stop, in part to all the help from City Hall. Lisa in the public events department was especially helpful. Unfortunately, with the NBA finals rolling into town, she was too busy to take a minute for a picture. We'd like to thank her, and her staff anyway for being such great and helpful hosts.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rochester Public Market.

After a great evening in Ithaca, we had to burn some midnight oil to get to Rochester for the Public Market. We pulled in pretty late, but were able to set up that night, which gave us a little chance to sleep in. When we awoke, the skies were threatening rain. Being a denizen of the Pacific Northwest, it would take a more than a little rain to slow Fin down.

As usual, Fin was popular was the center of attention for the adventurous and curious.

Alas though, as the day wore on, the sun broke through the clouds and turned into a beautiful last day of May.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ithaca wins it!

Davis, CA got out to an early lead in the first round with a healthy stack of postcards, only to be beaten handily by Madison. Madison defended it's title against worthy opponent Ann Arbor. In the next round, however Ithaca, the plucky little college town at the south end of Cayuga Lake in New York pulled a thrilling upset, taking the one-day postcard lead!

Ok, so it's not a game or a race, but, man, were we well recieved in Ithaca. We were set up all day on the Ithaca Commons (If you look at the Commons Cam in the link, we were set up just out of the frame at the bottom left.) And we had folks coming by all day.



And Night

The evening was part of the Ithaca Festival Preview, and we were treated to live music by some local bands. Vicki Taylor, pictured below with Bobby, works for the Ithaca Downtown Partnership and organized both the concerts, and having Fin on the Commons. She was a great help in making the day a big success. Thanks Vicki!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fish Repair Shop

It's been a long road trip, and Fin's getting tired. At least the casters she sits on are. We noticed in Pittsburgh that they were starting to give out. One problem: They were welded on. We would need some professional help to fix this one. Luckily we found it at AFS, an energy company based in Harrisburg that specializes in biomass and renewable energy systems. They have a metal fabrication shop to build their custom projects, and if fixing casters on a giant fish isn't a custom projects, I don't know what is. We'd left Fin there overnight so they could get to work first thing in the morning. By 10 Fin was good as new. They guys down there, Paul, Tim and Jim were really excited to work on something that was a little different than their normal projects. Here's Jim, fly fishing enthusiast and welder extraordinaire relaxing after a job well done.

Then it was off to Cabela's in Hamburg, PA for the afternoon.

In the future, please don't let Bill near a Cabela's. They do things like have flies on sale for $6.99 a dozen, and when that happens he can't help but drop $80 dollars. This is not good for his personal finances. Sadly, he lacks the self-control to avoid this behavior. It's best to keep him out of situations that encourages his bad habits.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

They boys pulled out of Pittsburgh first thing in the morning en route for Harrisburg. The morning pit stop turned into a rig maintenance: oil change, gas, propane, water dump/refill. They rolled into Harrisburg just in time for the Senators game.

This was a special stop for Nate. His childhood friend, Brandon, plays minor league ball for the Akron Aeros, who just happened to be in town for a three game series versus Harrisburg. Nate had never seen Brandon play in the minors before, and was thrilled that their traveling schedules overlapped. Brandon put on a good show, hitting a home run in the 5th inning. Nate was able to get the Home Run Ball.

Brandon's homer was part of a bad night for our hosts, The Senators, they lost the game 10-1.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pittsburgh Zoo

Monday and Tuesday the Road Show was camped out at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. We were swarmed with folks wanting a to climb on in and see Fin. During the day on Tuesday, SOS staffer Bobby Hayden and Ken Undercoffer, PA Council Chair for Trout Unlimited went downtown to meet with Stan Caldwell, Executive Director for Senator Arlen Specter's Pittsburgh Regional Office. As a solid leader in a state known for it's commitment to conservation and respect for hunters and anglers, Senator Specter has an opportunity to step up and help solve the Snake River salmon crisis effecting salmon, fishing communities, and American taxpayers.

We also had a very special guest stop by, Elizabeth Hartmann, one of the Winners of the SOS children's art contest.

Upon exploring the zoo, the road show crew was very happy to see a strong conservation message accompanying many exhibits. At the PPG Aquarium they had a great booth on sustainable seafood that promoted the health and environmental benefits of Wild Salmon.

The Pittsburgh Zoo deserves a big gold star for their efforts. Thanks Guys!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eastern Market, Detroit

It's Memorial Day in Michigan. If you're not Up North, that means it can only be time for one thing: gardening. Eastern Market, in Detroit is the place to get your flowers, starter tomatoes, and almost anything else you can think of. The market, combined with The Red Wings, Pistons, and Tigers playing at home (Pistons in the playoffs, Wings opening up the Stanley Cup Finals) the city was almost literally buzzing with excitement. Buster couldn't resist coming out to peruse the wares.

Buster the Wild Snake River Sockeye Salmon ponders the evolutionary significance of adaptation in both orchids and salmon - two of earth's most beautiful beings. How thoughtful, fish guy.

And Speaking of The Red Wings, I think we know who Bill's rooting for.

(Official SOS Stanley Cup Update: Wings win game 1, 4-0)

Big Fish at Big Fish

When you're in Dearborn, Michigan with a 25' salmon sculpture where do you go? Big Fish Seafood Bistro sounds logical to me. Which is precisely where we went.

We had a chance to have a great meal (a nice break from what we have taken to calling "Rig Food" which is what we're able to throw together in an RV). The staff was able to come out and snap a pic with Fin.

Bill got a big surprise when his Grandma stopped by, wholly unannounced. They were able to catch up for a bit, and took the obligatory picture by the big fish.